Former Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff


Many Canadians know Michael Ignatieff as the Liberal leader who called on Canada to "rise up" and eject Stephen Harper from office in the 2011 federal election. But rise they did not. As political watchers will recall, the number of Liberal seats in the house of commons plummeted to unprecedented lows. Canada's "natural governing party" fell to third-party status. And Ignatieff didn't even win a seat in his own riding. Such a public defeat would be difficult for anyone to swallow -- but the failure stood in especially stark contrast to Ignatieff's previous successes as a popular public intellectual, an award-winning author and a Harvard professor. Following a long period of soul-searching and a return to teaching, Ignatieff joins Jian to talk about his candid, defiant, and deeply self-critical account of his rise and fall: "Fire and Ashes: Success and Failure in Canadian Politics". He opens up on whether the book was painful to write, what it was like to be the target of effective attack ads, and what he's ultimately learned from his crushing defeat.

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